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Winter is coming…

The vast number of requirements fired out to local NHS organisations on Friday in the guises of a letter, best practice guideance and winter review was a good indication of the centre’s anxiety about the upcoming winter.

The new orders, as reported by HSJ, also came just 24 hours after official data showed four hour waiting time performance was in decline year on year in spring, despite NHS bosses making it their top priority.

The news prompted concerns from royal colleges and, HSJ understands, system leaders alike.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s new orders for both providers and commissioners included requirements for:

System leaders do stress they understand that local organisations are working extremely hard in extremely challenging conditions, but there is no hiding from the enormity of the challenge ahead.